|fresh herbs are known to be really healthy|
Now in our daily life we know that "healthy" is the opposite of "sick" and we think that there is a very clear understanding of both of these words. But actually there isn't. First of all there is different kinds of health. For example we can distinguish physical and mental health. Or we can say, someone is in a healthy relationship or food can be considered healthy. But even aside from these types of health, if we only look into one category and ask if there is a list of criteria for health, we will be surprised to find out that there is no universal list. There are official catalogues for illness and diagnosis but they change and outdate all the time and are also sometimes really questionable, because they are a product of our society and of what we consider "normal".
For example one diagnosis could be Trisomy 21, because doctors in our current society consider it a defect of someones genes. But the picture about this phenomenon is actually changing with more and more parents of children with downsyndrom opening up about how happy they are with their child and how they don't understand why anyone would see something wrong in them. Maybe a person with trisomy 21 is actually healthy, but our society is actually not. Maybe one day human kind will learn to be open and tolerant and consider downsyndrom just a different variety of health.
Now with downsyndrom doctors can at least point to the genes, but with some mental health questions, the diagnosis becomes even more blurry. I have met incredibly smart children in my life that were diagnosed with hyperactivity (also known as ADHD) and sometimes even given drugs (neuro-stimulants very much like cocaine and speed). Now I was helping these children with their homework and studying for school and I knew them before and after the diagnosis and they mostly didn't have any problems focusing on a certain topic nor where they somehow noticeable in their social behavior. But what they all had in common where actually very scared parents who made the impression of doing anything in order to fit in, and very obsessive teachers that were often also racist (most of my students were children of migrant families). As I am not a psychologist of course I don't hold the tools in my hand to say weather any of them actually needed to be medicated. But I sure am a philosopher and capable of doubting. I wouldn't give my children hard drugs that alter their brain in a case where they are just behaving frustrated in a classroom with a racist teacher in a system that sees value only in usable humans.
On the other side some illness is so unnoticeable, that we only see it when it is already too late. I have lost some people in my life because they suffered from depression. Depression can have many symptoms and it can also be totally invisible to everyone including the person having it herself. So do other mental illnesses like eating disorders or even psychopathy.
Now of course it is always important to be educated about all the things that could be dangerous to your health and take good care of yourself. But even that can go wrong quickly. Especially if you have a tendency to self-diagnose your own symptoms by searching them with google. I am a little bit hypochondriac myself and tend to get scared of dying when I have a stomach ache or a mild concussion (that can be dangerous though, but still it wasn't worth the panic I had in my bed).
So anyway the good way to go is probably somewhere between those two extremes. Be careful of listening to your own body and mind signals. But don't get too scared and overly protective and still know that every few years a good flu or a broken bone can actually remind you how beautiful life is without pain and 100% of your energy. And one thing is for sure: No body lives forever.
But how do we actually take good care of our health? How do we prevent getting sick? Well some things are very damn sure:
- We need sleep. And we need enough of it.
- We need to move. Check out my blog entry for 7. Exercise
- We need to eat in a healthy way, in order to nourish ourselves with 2. Good food
- We need to live a relatively happy life with people & occupations we like
- We need to stay sober (at least most of the time)
So if we are addicted to something it can actually also just be a signal for us that something else is wrong. Maybe we feel lonely and isolated or unhappy or traumatized. It is important to get to the source of the problem in order to work on it and live a healthy life.
There is a lot more to say about health, but I wanted to make clear, that there is a strong connection between health and happiness and that it is not always very obvious, what health actually is.